Brother to Brother, Sister to Sister, Brother to Sister-Together in the Lord

Cast worries on Jesus

6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (I Peter 5:6-7)

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It’s raining out. The window panes are splattered with drops streaming down the glass. Reaching out to feel the flow, wiping away the moisture smearing the view, the rain on the other side cannot be touched, cannot empathize.

Alone: It’s raining out. The panes are blurred, obscuring vision. Reaching out to touch the flow, wiping away the moisture smearing the view, the rain on the inside seeps through, tears streaming over reddened eyes.

With God’s family: It’s pouring out. The rain flows from eye to eye, in empathetic tears, one to another, sorrow shrouded in an outpour of love. Brother to brother, sister to sister, brother to sister, mingling hearts, sharing teardrops in the embrace.

Jesus in our midst: It’s shining out. The Son wipes away the moisture smearing the view, soothing the flow, offering hope, giving relief as He enters the embrace. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

Together in the Lord: It’s raining out. Eyes moist with tears that cleanse and clear the view to the Son who lights the way. Following when we don’t fully understand the journey, down a path only He knows. Sharing it together– brother to brother, sister to sister, brother to sister.

“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)

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It’s shining out, behind the clouds, through the rain. Though our burdens seem great, they are never too much for the Lord. His Light– breaking through the darkest day and the blackest night, the deepest fear and the loneliest heartache—touches the hurting, with empathy and love.

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)

(Sharon G. Tate blog 06/26/16) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

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Walking as He Walked

FOLLOW+JESUS footprints

 “Whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.”

(I John 2:6)

Shoe prints, extra-large, sinking in the sand, moving ahead.  Shoe prints, extra-small, awkwardly  following, lagging behind.  Extra-small stepping inside extra-large, fully encompassed by the mold. Extra-large stopping to allow extra- small more time to follow in the footsteps, in the path ahead.

Shoe prints, extra -large, next to shoe prints, extra-large. Walking together. Old impressions, lingering beneath the sand.  Sifting memories, little time left.

Shoe prints, extra- large, imprinted in the sand, moving ahead.  Shoe prints, extra- small, awkwardly walking, falling behind.  Extra -small trying to step inside extra -large, engulfed by the mold. Extra- large stopping to allow extra- small more time to follow in the footsteps, in the path ahead.

footprints following dad

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“My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.” 1

What will the child see as he watches the father? Where will the footprints take the child who follows the father’s path?  The little one who looks down, imagining when he can wear those extra-large shoes, trying them on for size by placing his own extra-small feet inside them, trusts that the father will lead him in the right direction. The path he follows, from his father’s example, will be the path he will show his own child. Footprints in time. Shifting sands. Impressions remain.

“One night a father overheard his son pray: ‘Dear God, Make me the kind of man my Daddy is.’Later that night, the Father prayed, ‘Dear God, Make me the kind of man my son wants me to be.’” 2

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Footprints, sinking deeper, weighted down.  Carrying the burden, ‘til lifted up.  Fulfilling the Father’s plan.  Walking the walk to the cross.

And the fathers pray, “Dear God, help us follow in His footprints. Make us the kind of men who walk with the Son to fulfill the plan of the Father. Help us teach and show our children where the footprints lead—to the path of service, sacrifice, and salvation. May our walk be Your walk.  Amen.”

1Clarence Budington Kelland, U.S. Writer. brainyquotes.com

2Anonymous. www.quotes.thinkexist.com

(Sharon G. Tate blog 06/19/16) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

Redemptive Cleansing: “Be Still — and Know that I AM GOD”

 Refuge and strength

 Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God;

believe also in Me.” (John 14:1)

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Walking along the path, hands in pockets, head down, thinking too many thoughts, worrying too many worries, nothing being solved, no one offering  help. . .  He was ready to turn back—until he saw it, the flower. “How could it just grow out of a crack in the rock like that?” he thought. “How could it even survive? Why would it want to?”

The winds picked up just then as drops of rain began falling. He drew his   jacket around himself. Gusts blew the little flower sideways, back and forth, as the rain, now in sheets, pummeled the petals, again and again. Holding onto life deep within the crack, no one offering help, its grip began to weaken.

No longer able to watch this relentless beating, the man looked up into the heavens and made a decision. Taking off his jacket, holding it carefully over the little flower, he drew the storm onto himself.

As the rains dripped to a mist and the winds calmed to a slight breeze, the man, drenched and cold, gently lifted the jacket away from the little flower. Beautifully glazed with drops of rain, the flower had lifted taller than before, it seemed.

He left it there, to bask in the sun emerging through the clouds. The raindrops glistened, a shining gleam, a flower smile to the sun touching its petals. It was the first time he had stopped to notice such a small, living thing. It was the first time he had protected a life beyond himself.

Leaving the path, hands in motion, head up, looking all around him, then casting his eyes upward, he saw the solution.

Someone was offering help. God had been there all along.

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 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

(Psalm 18:2)

The smallest gift from God can, often, be the redemptive cleansing we need to give us hope, strength, and conviction to reach beyond self and extend a hand—or a jacket– to others in need.

Looking down, hands in pockets, dwelling inside our own thoughts and worries, doesn’t allow access to the view we need to take in the beauty all around us, even in the cracks of rocks that seem too barren to sustain any growth.

The flower that blooms forth from such a crack in our own self-pity, inner fears, drowning doubts, and wind-blown hopes can be sustained and grow taller when we bask in the Light of the Son who is our fortress against all storms, within and without, that may assail against us.

 God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.

(Psalm 46:1)

   “Be still, and know that I am God.”
    (Psalm 46:10) 

 

(Sharon G. Tate blog 06/12/16) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

LIVING THE COMMAND: LOVING ONE ANOTHER

love one another crosses

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.              

(John 13:34-35)

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The man strolled slowly down the river walkway. An older woman with the letter A on her coat approached him, hurriedly passing by, looking slightly confused and fearful. He wondered if he should follow her, but then heard a younger woman, wearing the letter D, calling out to her–“Mother!”

The man continued on his walk, encountering many people with different letters stitched, embroidered, painted, or embossed on their jackets. There was the young boy with the letter T, jerking his head in uncontrolled movements; the young girl with the letters DS, laughing spontaneously with eyes unfocused, one drooping down; the teenager with the letters OA, nervously pacing, sweating, wringing his hands, a glazed look in his eyes; the elderly grandmother with the letters RA, stooped, gripping a cane with gnarled fingers, using the other hand to hold onto a small child with no hair who wore the letter C. And many others, all the letters of the alphabet, until he reached his apartment door, unlocking it to face the hallway mirror and his own letters—HD. His breathing was somewhat labored from his walk, so he sat down in his recliner to rest. Then, he prayed for A, D, T, DS, OA, RA, C, and all the other letters he encountered on today’s journey.

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**What if our suffering was literally “worn on our sleeve” for all to see? No longer hidden, no invisible diseases, no one hiding behind “I’m fine.” The alphabet we would all know on sight would include A for Alzheimer’s, D for diabetes, T for Tourette’s, DS for Down’s Syndrome, OA for Opioid Addiction, RA for Rheumatoid Arthritis, C for Cancer, HD for Heart Disease, and more and more. . .

If we could see more visibly the problems others face, would we be more understanding? Would we have greater empathy? Would we see that maybe our own problems are much less when compared with those around us? Would we have more joy? Would we pray more often for others?

The eyes of God see all the letters of this “alphabet” of disease and suffering, spread across the entire human race. His omniscience allows Him a depth of vision to our heart, our soul, and our very being. He knows what we are going through, individually and personally, and He sees what we may try to hide before others and even ourselves.

12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account (Hebrews 4:12-13).

Maybe if we weren’t so concerned with what others would think about us if they knew our “letters,” there would be an openness and acceptance toward each other that could give us all a glimpse of heaven on this earth.

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Colossians 3:12)

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:3-4)

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:1-2)

LIVING THE COMMAND: LOVING ONE ANOTHER

(Sharon G. Tate blog 06/05/16)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word